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Man City Claim Financial Investigation Is ‘Unfair’ Amid Conflict of Interest

Man City Deems Financial Investigation 'Unfair' Amid Conflict

Manchester City has labeled the ongoing investigation into their finances as ‘unfair’ due to an alleged conflict of interest involving Nielsen Sports, a global data and media valuation firm employed by rival Premier League clubs.

The club’s complaint centers on Nielsen Sports, which conducted the league’s analysis of the fair market value of City’s sponsorship deals. According to The Guardian, Manchester City claims this involvement has compromised the fairness of the investigation.

This contention was reportedly brought up during a closed-door legal battle between Manchester City and the Premier League last month. The investigation scrutinizes City’s alleged 115 breaches of financial fair play rules, with the club arguing that the rules are discriminatory towards Gulf owners.

Manchester City contends that the associated party transactions (APT) regulations, which ensure sponsorships from companies linked to the club’s owners are market-valued, breach competition law. The club aims to seek damages from the Premier League for lost sponsorship deals based on Nielsen’s analysis if their legal battle succeeds.

Nielsen Sports, an American firm renowned for its sports measurement and analytics, works with various Premier League teams and numerous other sporting associations, providing media valuation, fan insights, and digital and social analysis.

The ongoing legal battle has created divisions within the Premier League, with Newcastle, Chelsea, and Aston Villa supporting Manchester City, while Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool oppose their accusations. Despite Manchester City’s recent successes, including winning the treble and posting a Premier League record revenue of £712.8m, their finances remain under scrutiny, partly due to their close links with sponsors Etihad Airways, Etisalat, and Experience Abu Dhabi.

A result from last month’s legal proceedings is anticipated soon, while a decision regarding the 115 alleged breaches is expected this autumn. Notably, Nielsen has previously worked with Liverpool to analyze TV viewership data, although it is not confirmed if Liverpool is among the ‘rivals’ cited by Manchester City.

Credit: Joe

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